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San Antonio vs. Washington Final Score: Spurs win first game in Vegas without Wembanyama, 96-85

Malaki Branham leads the Spurs to their 4th summer league win

2023 NBA Summer League - Washington Wizards v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

No Victor Wembanyama, no problem. The San Antonio Spurs handled the Washington Wizards in their first Las Vegas Summer League game without Wemby, 96-85.

The summer Spurs were led by the sophomores, as Malaki Branham, Dominick Barlow, Julian Champagnie and Blake Wesley all scored in the double digits. What has become the summer league team’s core four look to be hitting their stride in the heat of Vegas. Branham bounced back from a poor shooting night on Sunday with an impressive 27-point game where he shot 12-20 from the field and 5-6 from three. Barlow played well on both ends once again, adding in 20 points and 7 rebounds on 9-15 shooting.

Xavier Cooks shined for Washington with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Spurs hot shooting and ball movement proved to be the deciding factor late in the game as they outscored the Wizards 30-20 in the fourth quarter, while shooting 37.5% from three.


  • Sidy Cissoko is a walking highlight reel. Whether it was his behind the back pass to Barlow out of the pick and roll or the slick one handed passes in transition, he is out there looking to make a pretty pass. It feels like beating a dead horse, but his offensive game is still incredibly raw. The shooting has not been great in summer league thus far, and he doesn’t show many creative ways to finish in the paint. He’s got an excellent frame and a high basketball IQ, so I’m buying the upside. He may need some developing to get there.
  • The longer Barlow is a free agent, the more uncomfortable fans are going to be. He’s been awesome in summer league, showing improved touch in the mid range, a tight handle for a big, and strong defensive chops. Some of his plays operating in the high to mid-post remind me a bit of Bam Adebayo, especially when paired with his switch-ability. A couple more strong summer performance could force the Spurs hand in contract negotiations.
  • Branham is such a natural scorer. He showed it last season with his excellent touch in the mid range and strong shot creation skills. He’s got a lot of wiggle to his game, and great awareness of when he needs to get low and draw contact on drive. The most impressive part of his summer league has been his three point shooting. He only shot 30% from three last year. This summer he’s looked confident taking them off of the dribble, relocation and moving off screens. Adding a consistent three point shot will be crucial to his scoring repertoire going forward.